Karen Richards

Reporter

Karen Richards has been a volunteer reporter since the fall of 2012.

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Lane County
3:23 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

County Seeks Input For Strategic Planning

Credit www.lanecounty.org

Reduced timber revenue has been impacting Oregon's public sector for years, and the trend is not expected to change.

Lane County is developing its 2015-2017 strategic plan, focusing on how to do more with less. After a workshop in June, Commissioners identified three priorities: health and safety, infrastructure, and vibrant communities. They hope to continue to tailor the plan to residents' concerns.

County spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis says the passing of the sheriff's levy was a helpful indicator:

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Renewable Energy
2:14 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Wave Energy Program Gets Federal Boost

Diagram of the southern Newport test site.
Credit www.nnmrec.oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University's Marine Renewable Energy program has been awarded new federal funding. The additional cash will help them get closer to connecting wave power to the grid.

Oregon State and the University of Washington were selected in 2008 to form one of three centers to research wave and tidal energy.

Belinda Batten is a Director for the program. She says for two years, they've had an offshore test site north of Yaquina Head, where they've been studying the size and force of waves. The new funding will help them move forward:

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Sustainability
4:00 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Sustainable Building On Display Sunday

Detail from the interior of Wildcraft Ciderworks.
Credit www.bringrecycling.org

Passive solar. LED lighting. Urban gardens. This weekend, BRING Recycling's Home and Garden Tour in Eugene highlights sustainable design and low-impact construction.

Julie Daniel is the Executive Director of BRING. She says the tour started as a showcase for re-used materials. Over six years, it's expanded:

Daniel: "There's more than one new building on the tour this year. Some are still under construction. There's a net zero home, which is a home that uses no energy, it actually returns more energy than it uses to the grid, including charging their electric car."

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University of Oregon
1:05 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

U Of O Debuts Campus Running Tours

UO Ambassadors Ray Grant and Hayden Rahn discuss the history of Bill Bowerman and Nike at the start of the tour.
Credit Karen Richards

The University of Oregon premiered a new program today. It's a running tour of campus, designed to highlight the history of Track Town USA.

About 20 incoming freshmen, student ambassadors and parents participated in the debut tour. Roger Thompson is Vice President for Enrollment. He says it struck him there's only one university in the country that could pull off a campus running tour.

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Wildfires
4:24 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Fires Burn In Cascades And Coast Range

A helicopter fills its bucket near the Deception Complex.
Credit www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

The Deception Complex fire near Oakridge and a small fire in the Coast Range are keeping almost a thousand firefighters busy.

A fire in the Cape Perpetua scenic area was reported Monday evening. As of Tuesday a 20-person crew was working to contain the half-acre blaze, which is in a drainage of Cummins Creek. According to officials, there are no closures. The cause of the fire is unknown and will be investigated.

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Wildfire
1:50 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Deception Fire Movement Causes Weekend Closures In Umpqua National Forest

Map of the Deception Complex fire.
Credit www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

The Deception Complex fire near Oakridge is now 45 percent contained. However, it moved west Thursday night, causing some closures for the long weekend.

Part of the Cottage Grove Ranger District is under an emergency closure. An area southeast of Forest Service Road 17 is closed from Spirit Falls to the divide. Pam Sichting is with the U.S. Forest Service. She says archery season opens this weekend, and bow hunters should stay current with fire updates:

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Holiday travel
4:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Weekend Road Travel Expected To Be Heavy

Anyone taking a road trip this holiday weekend should expect the highways to be busy.

Nationally, Labor Day travel is projected to increase this year, to the highest levels since 2008. Marie Dodds is with AAA. She expects more than ten percent of North-westerners to take a long trip this weekend.

Dodds: "It's going to be a very busy travel weekend. By far and away most people are going by car. About 86% of people nationally and about 80% of people here in the Pacific region will be driving to their Labor Day destinations."

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Pet Health
2:30 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Dog Food Trends Follow American Diet Trends

Ryan Garity loads a tray of Not For Dogs Only treats into the refrigerator.
Credit Karen Richards

Salmon and sweet potato or chicken with blueberries. All gluten free and organic, of course. These are not choices on the menu of Eugene’s newest restaurant, but options in the pet food aisle. Pet owners are spending more on specialized food every year.

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Transportation
3:55 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Oregon's Senators: Oil Trains Need New Regulations

From left: Eugene Springfield Fire Chief Randall Groves, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tim Butters.
Credit Karen Richards

Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley were both in Eugene on Monday. They led a forum on the Department of Transportation's proposed changes to oil train transport.

Bakken shale oil production in the Dakotas has transformed railroad tank car movement across the west. Volumes have increased four thousand percent since 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads. Senator Ron Wyden says rules regarding safety and preparedness have not kept pace:

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University of Oregon
3:31 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

U Of O Hosts Big Data Forum

Credit U of O News

The big data conversation comes to Eugene this weekend. The U of O is hosting a “Big Opportunities with Big Data” meeting Friday.

According to the International Data Corporation, this year, the world will store over two zettabytes of data, or the equivalent of 36 million years of HD video. If those numbers are hard to comprehend, that’s the point. It’s hard for traditional analytical methods to deal with. Andy Berglund is Dean of U of O’s grad school. He’s been giving a lot of incoming freshmen the same advice:

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